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Slaoui on minority skepticism of vaccine: 'Nobody's being used as a guinea pig'

Slaoui on minority skepticism of vaccine: 'Nobody's being used as a guinea pig'
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The Trump administration’s vaccine czar, Moncef Slaoui, addressed minority skepticism of the coronavirus vaccine, saying, “Nobody’s being used as a guinea pig.”

CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperOmar: Minneapolis community is 'on edge' around Chauvin trial GOP governor: Infrastructure proposal looks more like the Green New Deal Sanders says 'a lot more work has to be done' on 'human infrastructure' MORE asked Slaoui on Sunday to react to minority populations’ hesitation with the COVID-19 vaccine, noting that the U.S. “has an ugly, racist history when it comes to science and medicine and Black Americans.”

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“How specifically does Operation Warp Speed intend to address this skepticism, especially the disproportionate skepticism in the Black community?” Tapper asked on “State of the Union.”

“It’s a very important and saddening situation that’s been worrying us all the time,” Slaoui responded.

Operation Warp Speed’s chief adviser noted that his team has worked with health leadership to urge minority populations, specifically Black and Latino Americans, to participate in the clinical trials for the vaccine.

“That will be very important to helping us convey to the minority population the safety and the efficacy of these vaccines,” he said. “Nobody’s being used as a guinea pig.”

Slaoui highlighted that the coronavirus has impacted Black and Latino communities two to four times more than white communities, saying, “We have to stop that.”

“It’s really very, very important that people take the time to listen to the data, listen to the people they trust that have some expertise,” he said. “Please don’t make your opinion outside of having listened to the data and experts you trust.”

“When that happens, I feel confident you will agree to be immunized, and that can help save your life,” he added. 

The U.S. is preparing to send out its first batches of the vaccines later this month upon emergency authorization being granted by the Food and Drug Administration. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s independent panel recommends health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities be prioritized. 

Officials have noted that the hesitation among the Black community in particular could in part stem from the Tuskegee experiment, where a group of Black men with syphilis were not told of their diagnosis for decades and were denied treatment.